Instrument: Percussion, Timpani
With the RPO since: 1995
Was percussion your first instrument? As a child, we had a piano in our home. I played piano a little, before taking up percussion in middle school.
When did you start taking lessons? I didn't have a steady private teacher until college (University of South Carolina)
If you couldn’t be a professional musician, what would you do for a living? Starting pitcher for a major league team! Riiiiight ... That's a tough one. Maybe something involving travel. That's a real passion of mine.
Do you have a favorite piece to play? I don't have a favorite piece, but Prokofiev and Mahler and among my favorite composers.
What type of music do you listen to? My favorite kind of music to listen to is good music, no matter the genre. : )
Hailed as a dynamic and versatile performer, Jim Tiller was appointed Principal Percussion of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in 1995. In addition, Tiller is director of the Percussion Ensembles Program at the Hochstein School of Music and Dance, and is a member of the faculties of the State University of New York at Geneseo and Houghton College. Prior to joining the RPO, he performed with the South Carolina Philharmonic, Charleston Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, Binghamton Symphony, among others.
Active in virtually all musical genres, Tiller has performed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. As soloist and chamber musician, he has performed for professional conventions and festivals, including those of the Percussive Arts Society, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Spoleto Festival, American Harp Society Conference, International Viola Congress, and International Double Reed Society, among others. He has been featured on WXXI’s Live from Hochstein, Eastman Faculty Artist Series, Society for Chamber Music in Rochester, Friends of Music, and Fortissimo! His solo and collaborative performances have been met with critical acclaim. Tiller has recorded for harmonia mundi usa, Sony Music, NAXOS, ADMLive, Capstone, and other labels.
He received his formal music education at the Eastman School of Music, earning his Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance and the prestigious Performer’s Certificate, and the University of South Carolina, earning the Bachelor of Music Education degree and Performer’s Certificate.